Is this appropriate for me to ask?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by K-5_teacherguy, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Jun 29, 2015

    I will be meeting with my grade level team tomorrow for only the second time (the first time was at a PD day a few weeks ago). We are going to plan out the beginning of the year and do some other things of that nature. This will be my first year teaching, and I am kind of curious to know how the staff feels about the principal and the work environment in general. My feeling is that this principal is fairly strict, but I know that isn't necessarily a bad thing (and that feeling is pretty much based on the fact that he wants his male teachers to wear a shirt and tie!)

    Teacher turnover at this school is pretty much non-existent, which I think is a good sign, but I'm just curious to know how other teachers feel about things. Is it appropriate for me to ask new colleagues about this (in a subtle way), or should I just wait until school starts to form my own opinion?

    I think part of it is that I am just a little nervous/anxious to start my first real job, so I want to know as much as possible about the school. Any input would be great, thank you!
     
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  3. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    Jun 29, 2015

    I wouldnt feel bad asking. My previous colleagues talked plenty enough about admin that I didn't even need to ask. I just soaked it all in.
    You can just try to nicely ask how the admin runs stuff.
     
  4. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Jun 29, 2015

    Do you have a mentor? As a first year I had to complete a mentorship program. It was my 6th year, but first full time/contract. I knew my school, I knew what to expect. My mentor helped me with a few things I needed to adjust with classroom managment and paperwork deadlines. If I was not familiar with the school some of that mentorship likely would have been administration. You can ask your mentor.

    But you can wait and feel things out yourself. The climate of the school will likely come up naturally. Teachers do talk/vent.

    Talking about level of admin support, admin favorites, good/bad teachers will happen. Just beware of gossip. Last week I learned of a team member gossiping about me to others. I was mad, but not surprised.

    At another school I worked at a staff member would complain and talk about all the other staff behind their backs. I had several eachers come up to me and said, "(gossiper) said (another teacher) did (something horrible)." I got soo tired of it, I started passing on the rummors she told me about them. I would then say, "becareful who you listen to and trust."
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 29, 2015

    It should come up pretty naturally without you having to ask.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2015

    Form your own opinion. You'll hear others' opinions soon enough.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2015

    And the day when wearing a dress shirt and tie is "strict" is a day I don't want to think about. I have seen what some teachers think is appropriate, and I am here to tell you, some of them could use a little guidance. I have to write up girls with leggings and jeggings, but some teachers wear almost the same thing, and it looks as bad on them as the students. Personally, I think a collared shirt and tie is a great look for male teachers. It is a way to show you have pride in what you do.
     
  8. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Jun 29, 2015

    I actually agree, it's just not the norm in my area or this district.
     
  9. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    I will definitely have a mentor, and my understanding is it will be the instructional coach in the building. She is really nice and seems like she will be a great resource.
     
  10. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'd start by asking the "unwritten rules" of the school. All schools have them, and they are useful to know.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I would probably want to let the other teachers know that you want to fit in and be part of the team. This could come out naturally as you interact in meetings and planning. Then see what comes up. You will probably soon be able to tell who you can relate the best with and can be more direct with. Just be yourself and your eagerness to work hard will show.
     
  12. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    I wouldn't specifically ask, "Is admin strict about XYZ?" or "How do you feel about the principal?" But I would ask general questions about the unwritten rules of the school, what the school environment is generally like, or specific things that you want to know regarding expectations. They gave me some very helpful instructions like the school secretary can help you with EVERYTHING, and if you hear things from the principal's secretary, check with the other secretary because she is more reliable.

    Once I had some teachers who I got friendly with, I was able to ask some very specific questions, and I heard things through the grapevine.
     
  13. TeachCafe

    TeachCafe Comrade

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    I asked my team/switch teacher about the school and she was straight up with me.

    I wouldn't ask the whole team but maybe one person you vibe with the most, your switch partner, etc.

    Every grade level in my limited experience has that one or two teachers in the principals pocket or click so best not to show your hands to everyone. Unless your switch partner is one of those and by association you're in a sweet spot.
     
  14. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Good. My mentor was very helpful. I hope your mentor is helpful too.
     
  15. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Our students wear uniforms. Part of that is the tie & shirts tucked in for the boys. So, it is expected that the men do the same.
     
  16. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    :yeahthat:
     
  17. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    I would wait and form my own opinion. Just like, I like to form my own opinions about students.
     

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